Football 3 years ago

Mariners could play match on Gold Coast

  • Mariners could play match on Gold Coast

The Central Coast Mariners are in early discussions to bring an A-League match to the Gold Coast next season.

The Mariners would be the home team and play against Brisbane Roar, allowing them to pocket gate takings from fans travelling down to cBus Super Stadium at Robina.

It's understood the original approach was made by the Gold Coast City Council and the Roar to Central Coast, who are open to selling home games because of the club's financial situation, and will 'host' Melbourne Victory in an A-League fixture at Geelong's Simonds Stadium next month.

The Mariners declined to comment, but Brisbane Roar chief executive David Pourre said they would welcome any rival side wishing to bring more games to Queensland, where they remain the sole A-League franchise.

"Any other A-League club that wants to take one of their games to Queensland - the Gold Coast, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, wherever it may be - we would certainly do anything we could to help them," Pourre told AAP.

"Why wouldn't we? It'd be a fantastic advantage to our club and help lift the profile of football in this stage if we can get more football content.

"My job is to protect and grow the Brisbane Roar, but importantly I'm trying to grow the game as well."

Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp told an audience at a pre-match function last week the club was looking at potentially taking home games to Canberra and other regional areas.

Previous plans to stage several matches per season in North Sydney were scrapped because of supporter discontent, but the prospect of just one match in a different market would be far more palatable for fans and indeed may become the reality for some clubs under the current A-League financial model.

If successful, the match would continue Gold Coast's slow and steady rebuild as a football region since the demise of the Clive Palmer-owned Gold Coast United in 2012.

The Gold Coast City Council last year appointed former Roar CEO Eugenie Buckley as a full-time consultant to help them build a strategy surrounding football, which led to Manchester City's pre-season training camp and sellout friendly match against Melbourne City, while Brisbane Roar staged their AFC Champions League home matches at Robina earlier this year.

The Palm Beach Sharks also recently rebadged their National Premier Leagues operation, taking on the name Gold Coast City with the intention of garnering broader support and bidding for National Youth League and W-League licences.

The bottom-placed Mariners take on Brisbane Roar, currently second on the ladder, at Central Coast Stadium this Sunday afternoon.

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